Burgum appoints Pat Bertagnolli to lead Job Service North Dakota as executive director

Mike Kennedy
Special to Devils Lake Daily Journal

NORTH DAKOTA - Gov. Doug Burgum  announced he has appointed Pat Bertagnolli of Watford City to serve as executive director of Job Service North Dakota, effective Feb. 21, citing his extensive background in workforce recruitment, his experience in both the public and private sectors and his service on the state’s Workforce Development Council.

Bertagnolli was chosen in part due to his extensive background in workforce recruitment, his experience in both the public and private sectors and his service on the state’s Workforce Development Council.

Bertagnolli (BERT-n-OH-lee) has served as director of the Rough Rider Center and community enhancement in Watford City since December 2019. He previously served as vice president of human resources for MBI Energy Services and has held human resources management positions at several other energy-related businesses in the Watford City and Williston areas since 2011. Prior to that he had a 22-year career with UPS serving in multiple capacities, most notably as a multistate operations manager and workforce planning and employee relations manager.  

“Having spent much of the last decade recruiting and retaining workers in the fastest-growing area of the country, Pat Bertagnolli has the right experience to lead Job Service North Dakota as we tackle our state’s significant workforce challenge – our No. 1 barrier to economic growth,” Burgum said. “We are deeply grateful for Pat’s service on the Workforce Development Council these past eight years and look forward to his leadership at Job Service in connecting jobseekers with employers and removing barriers to employment.”

Bertagnolli earned his bachelor’s degree in business administration in 1990 from Carroll College in Helena, Mont., and a Senior Certified Professional credential from the Society for Human Resource Management in 2015. He currently serves on the TrainND Northwest Advisory Board and on Williston State College’s nursing advisory board. He has served on the state’s Workforce Development Council for eight years, having been first appointed by then-Gov. Jack Dalrymple in 2014 and reappointed by Burgum in 2016, and is a former president of the Watford City Area Chamber of Commerce.

“I’m thankful to have had a front row seat to the greatest growth in the nation as referenced in results of the 2020 Census, and Job Service North Dakota has been a key partner in that growth,” Bertagnolli said. “I look forward to working alongside this amazing team in a more formal capacity to help facilitate statewide collaboration and alignment to support our state’s recruiting and retention efforts. I’m grateful to Gov. Burgum for this incredible opportunity to serve the great people of North Dakota.”

Burgum expressed his gratitude to North Dakota Workforce Safety & Insurance (WSI) Director Bryan Klipfel, who has served as interim executive director of JSND since 2019 and will return to leading WSI full time.

Job Service North Dakota has 156 full-time team members, 66 temporary employees and a biennial budget of $65.4 million to manage multiple federal grants for workforce and unemployment services. The agency has nine workforce centers across the state staffed with regional workforce experts to remove barriers to employment and to connect employers and job seekers by building partnerships within local communities with employers, schools, local economic development associations and chambers. Unemployment Insurance services are carried out at the central office location in Bismarck. Through this program, the agency stabilizes the workforce and economy by providing income replacement to eligible workers. The agency also provides education and labor market information to businesses and job seekers to make informed decisions.